It’s not a holiday without Josephine.
Half of the fun of going away is taking Josephine with us. Watching her excitement as she sees the train coming, tucking her up on my lap to watch the sheep fly past as we reach the countryside. Introducing her to new experiences: a first ice cream on the beach, first walk through a moor that is dotted with horses, first snuggle in a new duvet on a new bed. She loves a holiday.
Josephine is a real family pet. She loves to come anywhere with us and we are proud to bring her. She has excellent manners and I like to think that she’s an unobtrusive addition to a party; my favourite compliment is when people who don’t like dogs claim not to have noticed her!
For a little dog that nobody wanted for most of her life, Josephine has had a glorious three years with us. She has visited the beach many times and camped in the New Forest. She’s had a wee in eight different European countries, eaten steak in some of the poshest restaurants in London and has literally memorised her favourite routes through the Underground. Her face has featured on websites and magazines and US blogs and product labels, she has been photographed by professionals and had a proper cuddle with Victoria Stilwell, and she is slowly, slowly learning to be a dog and to play.
In August she’ll be adding a new experience to her list. She’s going to her – and our – first festival. We’re off to Raw Fest which is located by the sea in the New Forest. It’s branded as a ‘decompression party from your everyday life’ which is not only ideal for us right now but for Josephine, who could certainly use some decompression from the stresses of living in a small space with the tiny tyrants. I’m looking forward to bringing her home all zen-like and relaxed about the recent changes to her life.
There’s lots that we’re looking forward to at Raw Fest. I’d like to start transitioning the adults in our family back to veganism (the twins are and will remain vegetarian) and so I’m interested to attend all of the vegan eating and raw food talks. And I’m hoping that I can smuggle myself into the bed time stories session under the guise of taking the twins to listen.
For Josephine, the location couldn’t be better. She’s easy to take anywhere, but we try to divide up our day so that all of us gets a portion of time devoted to their own pleasure and for her that means a mini adventure. She needs to get out at least twice a day, to stretch her legs and find new things to sniff. She’s not much interested in interacting with other dogs but give her somewhere new to explore and her day is made. Raw Fest is located at Pylewell Park, which is stunning, and dogs do have to be kept on leads in the grounds but having glanced at the map it does look that there is plenty of space just outside of the park to let them run wild if your dog needs that.
Also observed from the map, the sea really is JUST THERE. Josephine behaves like we’re trying to murder her when we take her to water but I certainly intend to have a little paddle if the weekend is warm.
(Images supplied by Raw Fest.)
I’m excited about another opportunity to explore something new with my dog and to have another family adventure. Being a ‘mum’ to a dog and children can be challenging at times but it’s so much easier to juggle when everybody is welcome to the same events.
So who wants to share their top tips about buying/hiring tents?!